Vertical plasma cutting machine wins on ABC’s New Inventors

ImaQcut, the world's first vertical CNC plasma cutting machine, was the winning invention on a recent episode of the ABC's New Inventor's TV program.

ImaQcut, the world’s first vertical CNC plasma cutting machine, was the winning invention on a recent episode of the ABC’s New Inventor’s TV program.

By completely redesigning traditional machines, the invention is said to effectively eliminate all of the major problems associated with plasma cutting. The imaQcut is said to be a lot safer, more efficient and compact than every other machine on the market.

Inventor, Paul McCleary says the machine is fully made in Australia, with prices starting around the $50k mark.

“The machines have a 10% premium on normal horizontal machines, but are a lot safer and take up far less space.”

It all started when McCleary built a traditional plasma machine in his garage at home.

When he realized it was taking up the whole garage he hinged it to the wall to get it out of the way. One morning he accidently started it while it was hinged up against the wall, and this fortuitous mistake sparked his imagination about the possibility of a vertical plasma cutting machine.

Having worked in the industry, Paul was acutely aware of the hazards of plasma cutting. The more he thought of cutting vertically, and all the elements of current practice that could be improved, the more logical it seemed that this would be a superior way of cutting sheet and plate metal.

Since the system is fully enclosed, all fumes are prevented from being released into the factory where they would otherwise be inhaled by workers. Instead, 100% of the fumes are filtered and extracted so that they cannot harm workers, in stark contrast to the 20% filtering capacity of current systems.

As the plasma cutter heats the sheet metal the fumes rise, where a collection chamber (mounted above and behind the cutting racks) sucks the fumes out to an extraction filter system, ensuring 100% of the fumes a removed and cannot be inhaled.

Having the machine fully enclosed eliminates the risk previously posed by moving parts. The system is also designed to automatically stop if the doors are opened, creating a failsafe protection from moving parts.

Ergonomically, the imaQcut is said to be a huge improvement for the operator, as they can keep their back straight when removing parts.

A conventional machine requires the worker to stretch over large tables to retrieve heavy cut parts, which puts a strain on the lower back, shoulders and neck.

They also have to lean over sharp cutting racks that could cause serious injuries if workers were to fall onto them.

The imaQcut has sliding horizontal (slightly angled) cutting racks that make it substantially easier to load and unload sheet metal.

The imaQcut cutting carriage encloses the plasma torch so the cutting arc is not seen. Staring at the arc produces retinal damage not dissimilar to welder’s arc eye. This is the only plasma cutter enclosing the torch. The invention is also 40% quieter than a conventional machine as a result of being enclosed.

As it is horizontal, the invention is about 1/3 of the size of a conventional machine. The whole machine is 3.1 sq m, and only 840mm wide. It can be placed against a wall, with access for machine operation and maintenance able to be carried out completely from the front.

Due to the angle that the plate rests on, the imaQcut can support a 1 ton piece of steel with only 10% of the weight being placed on the slats. This means the machine needs less slats, with fewer welds to slats being produced. The imaQcut does not scratch the material, as the weight of the metal sheet rests mostly on its edge and not on the face of the sheet. The result is better parts.

For more information call 02 9668 8900.

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